(Un)learning EU development policy through post-colonial lenses

By Jan Orbie

When reading the fresh manuscript of the special issue of Global Affairs on ‘Development and International Partnerships in the EU’s external relations’, with the request to write the conclusions, I was confronted with mixed feelings. The contributions written and edited by distinguished colleagues obviously show how much the field of EU development studies has advanced conceptually and empirically. Continue reading “(Un)learning EU development policy through post-colonial lenses”

Questioning development: What lies ahead?

By Christiane Kliemann | EADI/ISS Blog Series

Development Studies requires “an epistemological and ontological change” write Elisabetta Basile and Isa Baud in the introduction to the recent EADI volume “Building Development Studies for a New Millennium”. The planned sequel of the book will take this analysis one step further and explore viable ways to build on both the critique of development as such, as well as the growing demand to decolonize knowledge production. The plenary session on “Questioning Development – Towards Solidarity, Decoloniality, Conviviality” at the recent #Solidarity2021 conference hosted a discussion by four contributors to the book which is currently in preparation for publication in 2023. The discussion is summarized here. Continue reading “Questioning development: What lies ahead?”

How Not To Go ‘Back To Normal’ After COVID-19: Planning For Post-Neoliberal Development

By Giuseppe Feola, Bram Büscher, Andrew Fischer and Martijn Koster

COVID-19 has shaken the world. Early emergency responses across the world led to drastic changes in local and global development trajectories within a very short period of time, from food insecurity, schooling and gender inequality, to debt and employment crises in much of the Global South, among other changes. A year on and despite the rollout of vaccines in many countries, it remains to be seen whether the pandemic will dissipate; not least because of the starkly unequal distribution of vaccines within and across countries, which is ethically reprehensible and epidemiologically unsound. Given this deep rupture to pre-COVID-19 business-as-usual and the severe adjustments that continue to be made, it is clear that we will not get ‘back to normal’ any time soon, if ever. Nor indeed should we. But how not to go back to normal? Continue reading “How Not To Go ‘Back To Normal’ After COVID-19: Planning For Post-Neoliberal Development”

How Can Development Cooperation Be More Sensitive To Power Relations?

By Tim Kornprobst and Anna Schwachula

Ever since development cooperation began in the 1950s, it has fallen under suspicion of upholding colonial conditions. Proponents of post-development theories therefore stress that the concept of development cooperation is problematic in the way it divides the world into “developed” countries on the one hand and “less developed” countries on the other, as this is considered to represent a Western, capitalist paradigm. In the eyes of critics, this bifurcation serves to perpetuate a colonial power structure in which experts from the global North recommend solutions to societies of the global South they consider to be “backwards”. Continue reading “How Can Development Cooperation Be More Sensitive To Power Relations?”

The 2030 turn in German Development Policy – An Opportunity to Fundamentally Challenge Global Inequalities?

By Tanja Verena Matheis and Adrian Schlegel

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the reorientation of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development with regard to international development policy and cooperation has gone almost unnoticed in the media. In the context of their “reform concept 2030”, the policy-makers identify five “megatrends” – demographic change, the shortage of natural resources, climate change, digitalization and interdependencies, and migration, based on which they suggest courses of action. The reform has attracted criticism, especially because of the cancellation of partnerships with countries with material precarity. Is the proposed strategy anywhere near allowing to address persistent socio-economic inequalities that the system of development cooperation claims to alleviate? Continue reading “The 2030 turn in German Development Policy – An Opportunity to Fundamentally Challenge Global Inequalities?”